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Blog Focus: Bad Policy, or Bad Intent?


If you remember, I recently published a post, Intent vs. Incompetence.  I was reacting to a debate between Reaganite Republican, and Michael from Jumping in Pools.  It seems that the topic resonated, as our friend, the Classic Liberal, has also commented. Here is his post, republished with permission.

It’s common for opponents of Big Government to assume destructive legislation is “bad policy,” and chalk the resulting damage up to “unintended consequences.” Not only is it human nature to believe the best in others, our day to day lives confirm it to be true. When considering government policy though, we’re not talking about those people in our day to day lives … We’re talking about politicians – men and women who, for the most part, seek power and influence above all.

The destructive effects of the legislation passed by Washington (and our state capitols) is so blatantly obvious however, it must be motivated, at least in part, by malice. I concede that a handful of Congressional members are naive to what they’re doing, but that percentage is too small for us mere mundanes to assume that “bad policy” was derived out of good intentions.

The “Big-Dumb-Dummy” argument doesn’t provide cover for bad intentions either. Being a politician certainly doesn’t require much of an IQ, but it still takes smarts to work your way through the system. Speaker Pelosi may always and everywhere sound like a dunce, but because she constantly lies. President Obama hasn’t “failed” his constituents because of “incompetence” either, he just has a different agenda. Barney Frank was no more naive to problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, than you are of your own first name.

Same thing on the other side of the aisle … Republicans neither “cave” to Democrats or get “tricked” by them. They vote for legislation purposely, regardless of what their constituents think. The only genuine “Big-Dumb-Dummies” out there, are those of us who support these Democrats and Republicans.

Bad Intent

Consider inflation. People may not want their money taxed away through debasement of their money, but inflation does have beneficiaries. Inflation is a major source of government revenue and depreciates its debts. Inflation profits big banks and government contractors too. Large private lenders also love inflation, because it allows them to profit at the property owner expense. While union members, welfare recipients, and government employees are awarded cost-of-living raises to off-set the debasement (patronage), the Country Class savers get stuck paying the tax via lost purchasing power, and retirees on fixed income get a standard of living decline.

Simply bad policy?

What about environmentalism? The environmentalists hardly keep it a secret that they wish to make us all poor. Wanting us to stop driving our cars, they crank up emissions standards and raise gasoline taxes hoping to “nudge” us out of driving. They spend money (that doesn’t exist) building mass-transit systems nobody will use voluntarily. Then they cook up “Cap and Trade,” a scheme that will richly line the Ruling Class pockets richly, trading nothing more than air.

Unintended consequences? My ass!

Giving statists (of any stripe) the benefit of the doubt, grants them the moral high ground, when the truth is they’re lying thieves at best. There’s nothing “unintended” about replacing private property with subservience, family allegiance with bureaucratic dictate, rule of law with executive command, or business independence with corporatism.

We’ve all witnessed the various forms of socialism crash, burn and die. The Soviet Empire is gone, European Social Democracies are bankrupt, our own cities and states have been destroyed, and the economy ruined.

It’s time to wise up people, and start calling it what it is … bad intent.

Post inspired by “Intent vs. Incompetence.”

  • The focus of the progressive left has been to legislate and then regulate their vision of America into place for at least 5 decades now.

    You do not win by beating on the walls of congress goes the old saying….you put on a shirt and tie, cut your hair and go to work on the inside.

    The intent of this legislation has always been known. It was written to be on the outside appealing but on the inside it was given the flexibility to be regulated in such a way as to regulate America into subservience.

    We are slaves to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NOW….and there is only about 25-30 percent of Americans who really share the progressive dream and yet we are so close to the progressive finish line that its terrifying because gone is Americas exceptionalism.

    Today we face a country that struggles daily to exist because we are so torn by the burden of legislation and regulation by an Unconstitutional and out of ff’ing control federal government.

    • Sad but true Lee. Sad but true. It will only get worse. With every crisis they manufacture, or with anything exploitable that happens, they will pick over what is left.

  • This is the most poorly written post I’ve read in a long time. Next time know your facts!

    • Note that this is not Innominatus. This is the person that is in a blog war with him.

  • The only policy I can think of that brought unintended consequences is the portion of health care that left Congress without insurance.

    What really, really shocks me is that there are no Blue Dog Democrats. Where we thought the insanity could be stopped with Blue Dogs and Republicans, it didn’t come close to happening.

    The legislation we are enduring is a direct attack from a president and his Chicago sidekicks who have dreamed of these regulations for years. The Czars happened immediately. Healthcare was already written. I believe when he came to office he knew exactly what he needed to do to keep the country reeling, disbelieving and in shock – in other words, the strategy of manufactured crises.

    The points about inflation are spot-on.

    • You’re right. That blue dog breed, formerly, Reagan democrats, are gone. They’re either all socialists, or they go along with the same. No one with a “D” after their name can be trusted. Stupak proved that.

      You’re also correct when you say all of this was written. It was also true of the Porkulus. That thing was rolled out right after Obama was inaugurated. There is no way that those thousands of pages could be written over night.

  • With every crisis they manufacture, or with anything exploitable that happens …

    We’re at a turning point in our nation. Over the next few years, we’ll experience unimaginably dramatic change. The economy/budget will dictate the terms, but it’s up to us, the people, to figure out how to handle it.

    Codevilla’s “America’s Ruling Class” (soon to be followed by a book) is the most important essay of our time, because it so clearly illustrates the reality of our modern system of politics. Notice while the article focuses on Democrats (because they’re in power), he includes Republicans equally part of the Ruling Class. If you haven’t read it, please do. It is not a metaphor. What he describes is reality.

    Republicans will win this November, but not on their own merits. The handful of fresh faces that will enter office is because of the Tea Parties. People are growing more impatient with the partisan nonsense everyday. Independent, libertarian, old school Democrat, and a growing number of Republican constituents too, are fully aware that Bush’s Prescription Drug bill, federal commandeering of the schools, et. al, were every bit as hard left as anything passed by Democrats, including Obamacare.

    As the economy continues to sour and Republicans fail to do anything meaningful in office, look for a new party to start growing that will take voters away from both of the traditional parties. Absent partisan rhetoric, we have a lot more in common with Democratic voters than we realize. It’s the partisanship (on both sides) that keeps “We the People” apart, thereby allowing 545 busybodies in Washington to run our lives.

    So please, I beg of everyone, fight for freedom and liberty above all. Don’t cut Republicans even an inch of slack more than you’re willing to cut a Democrat. Republicans are every bit as guilty of exploiting crisis as Democrats are. We’re not “Republicans,” we’re “We the People.” And this ain’t about them anyways … It’s all about us!

    But then again, what do I know?

    • CL, you nailed it on so many levels.

      I just left a comment over at America’s watchtower that is in agreement with not giving the GOP an ounce of slack. If they run on something, we’ll hold them to it. If they consistently fail, we’ll do to them what they did to the whigs. We do have to understand, however, that even if they win in November, they still have to overcome Obama’s veto pen.

  • hiya Matt~!..Limbaugh said: this country does not have to accept this “new normal”, we do not have to accept the infiltration of this country, we can turn things around beginning at the ballot true is that!!!

    • It’ll be a start, Angel!

  • The way I see it, it’s us vs. them, and there’s only 545 of them.